How Much You Need To Earn To Buy A Home In Florida

Buy a home in Florida
Just how much money do you need to earn to buy a home in paradise?

Florida’s sunny beaches and relaxed lifestyle make it a dream destination for many. But that dream can turn into a financial nightmare if you’re a first-time home buyer. While sunshine might be plentiful, affording a piece of the Sunshine State has become a significant challenge. Just how much will you need to earn to buy a home in Florida? We discuss below.

Buy a home in Florida: The salary hurdle

According to a recent study from Bankrate, to afford a home today, Americans need an average income of roughly $110,871. Unfortunately, this figure equates to nearly a 50% increase over the last four years. To put this another way, if home prices had grown at the same rate as income since 2000, the median U.S. home would cost nearly $294,000 — about 32% less than today’s price of $433,100. Needless to say, a combination of factors such as rising home prices, higher mortgage rates, persistent inflation, and a limited inventory of homes on the market have all led this spike.

Buying a home in Florida: Beyond the salary

Remember, a six-figure salary isn’t the only factor. Here’s why:

  • Down Payment: A 20% down payment is ideal, but even a smaller down payment will mean a higher monthly payment.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders consider your overall debt burden. The lower your ratio, the better your chances of qualifying for a mortgage and getting a good interest rate.
  • Hidden Costs: Factor in property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and potential HOA fees.
  • Location: Home prices can vary dramatically across Florida. Expect to pay a premium in popular coastal areas like Miami or Fort Lauderdale compared to more rural regions.

Buying a home in Florida: Beyond the numbers

So, how can you prepare to buy a home in Florida, even with a challenging market?

  • Get Pre-Approved: Pre-approval from a lender shows sellers you’re a serious buyer and gives you a clear idea of how much you can afford.
  • Save Aggressively: The bigger your down payment, the lower your monthly payment. Every dollar saved is a dollar closer to your dream home.
  • Explore First-Time Homebuyer Programs: Florida offers programs to help first-time buyers with down payments and closing costs.


While affording a home in Florida might require a higher income than in the past, it’s still achievable with planning and resourcefulness. Remember, the magic number isn’t just your salary – it’s a combination of factors. So, do your research, explore your options, and don’t let the Sunshine State dream slip away!

Of course, your first step in any potential house hunting endeavor should be to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent. Are you looking to buy or sell in the South Florida area? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! With agents serving markets in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade, St. Lucie, Sarasota, & Manatee counties, we are ready to assist! Also, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet!

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.